UK & EU Free Trade Agreement Rules of Origin

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As a member of the European Union’s Single Market and Customs Union, the UK was previously able to trade tariff-free with EU member states, and without the need for customs declarations or meeting 'rules of origin.

On 1st January 2021, the UK moved to a new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) – the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the UK and the EU.

To benefit under the TCA, goods must be of UK or EU origin. This means they must meet the UK-EU preferential rules of origin.

These rules are set out in the TCA and determine the origin of goods based on where the products or materials (or inputs) used in their production come from. Their purpose is to ensure that preferential tariffs are given only to goods that originate in the UK or EU and not from third countries (i.e. those apart from UK and the EU Member States).

Goods that do not meet the rules of origin can still be traded but they will not be able to benefit from preference under the TCA and may have to pay the standard tariffs that the EU and UK apply to imports.

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